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Philosophy and Attachment

Updated: May 4

Since humans can be emotionally attached to just about anything, disconnecting from such sources is often hard and even painful, whether it is for our good or not. Likewise, it is possible that a philosopher will become attached to the ideology they have formed, which would only be an obstacle in their way to the truth, which is ironic. After all, the philosopher's job is to reach the truth through logical reasoning, not to become attached to a system of belief that may be false.

Why is it difficult for some people (including me) to discuss with the very religious? It is because their religion has been embedded within their lives and their identity. A fallacy in their religion would therefore also be a fallacy in their mindset and emotional attachment. After all, religion is more than just finding deeper truths, but also embedding them within one's individual/collective identity, even if that truth may turn out to be false or at least not very accurate.

A philosophy should not be treated as a religion because the truth does not require one to depend on one's identity. The truth is there, regardless of your findings. You, as a philosopher, are but an explorer, not a soldier.

Your sense of identity has no relation to the truth, even if you are very much correct about it. However, unlike the religious man or woman, who succumbs to their dogma, you must, as a good philosopher, be in a state of constant doubt, as the truth is not always clear, let alone eternal in its form. It is fluid, swift, and not always easy to see.

You are the guide who leads your audience, but you are also similar to your audience in the sense that you both explore together, and only rarely settle for a comfortable conclusion. This is why philosophical discussions can be very tiring, because they seem to have no end; it could also be why some may see philosophy as useless, because its results are not as quick as your average Google search.

As a philosopher, you are hunting for something that you may not necessarily be certain about what it actually is. You might hunt for a deer, only to find out you have hunted a moose; or a specific breed of some animal you have looked for, only to find out you caught an entirely different breed. A truth that is required by philosophy is like a ninja, always on the move, always in the shadows of half-truths, logical fallacies, and distractions that are not related to your quest (even if they are its product).

For example, some of your audience may say something completely irrelevant to the topic you wrote or discussed, such as how arrogant you are, while in reality your "arrogance" has nothing to do with the contemplation. Nonetheless, your image will still be important to some more than the craft itself, especially if you use personal examples to your logical arguments.

Even if you, like me, have created a sense of what kind of philosopher you are, with what philosophers you agree with, which schools you affiliate with the most, or even created a symbol for your own philosophical contemplations --- you need to make sure that you can "survive" being proven wrong.

There is nothing offensive about it, necessarily, it's just that the truth does not concern personal sentiments, even if these sentiments were used somehow in its search. In this sense, philosophy is very much like a science, more than it is an art (again, at least in this aspect). It requires logical reasoning, detection of fallacies, and finally -- coping with the results, and their possible outcome.

This is why it is hard nowadays to find genuine people who would discuss with you without being offended by you disagreeing with their premises. It is hard to disagree on the internet in general as, again, there's a lot of sentiments involved with a premise that might be wrong. In other words, we humans do not like to be challenged, at least many of us, because that does not only involve the premise but our affiliations as well.

Should you claim that there are no souls, people will get mad at you; should you say that Earth was not necessarily created in 6-7 days, some people will get offended for you challenging their scriptures. And, it is not like you said anything offensive directly at them (or offensive at all); you just expressed your thoughts, that can be as true or wrong as theirs.

To be a good philosopher, you must create a barrier between yourself and your sentiments about your beliefs. Your role is not to enjoy the depths of your beloved ideology, but to use that ideology as a vessel towards a possible truth.

The premise is not the target, but the vehicle that you use to transport yourself to the possible light from afar. Using a personal narrative is good as long as it is used as a rational example to prove your point, but from there on, you are not your insights, and your insights are not you.

Finally, there is the reception of the truth you have found, which is also influenced by sentiments and feelings of affiliation. Not everything will be met with cheers and praise, and some people might even try to oppose you because of various reasons not necessarily linked to you personally. Whatever your general reception may be, remember that even as a content creator, you are essentially a delegate of "the light" AKA the truth, sent to it, by your own love of wisdom.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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